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'Dire warnings'

Business demands more help if vaccine passport extended

vaccine passport entry

Vaccine checks may be extended

Scottish ministers are coming under growing pressure to offer further financial support for hospitality and other sectors if, as expected, the government extends vaccine passports and other measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Devi Sridhar, chairman of global public health at Edinburgh University, says it may be necessary to ban the unvaccinated from pubs and restaurants. The scheme is currently limited to nightclubs, sports stadiums and other big gatherings.

Ms Sridhar’s advice is aimed at avoiding tougher restrictions later in the winter, and she has highlighted measures being taken elsewhere, in particular Austria which has ordered the unvaccinated to stay at home for all but visits to shops, essential work and for medical treatment.

Business groups in Scotland now fear that a tightening of restrictions is all but inevitable but have warned of “dire consequences” for the economy if there is not adequate financial support in place.

A survey of Scottish hospitality businesses found that four out of five (83.6%) are trading significantly below pre-pandemic levels and with inflation, debt and other costs rising, the sector is facing a difficult winter ahead.

Three quarters (76.2%) said they would not survive without further economic support from Government, should the vaccine certification policy be extended.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of firms polled by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network are opposed to more restrictions, with 45% already feeling that the measures currently in place are no longer justified.


The Chambers have already written to the Scottish Government stating that it is essential that Scotland’s business community is fully consulted before any additional economic deterrents are introduced.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “If restrictions are to be reintroduced under legislation, then companies will of course be forced to accept them.

“But ministers must urgently outline the evidence for these decisions, detail what financial support the Scottish Government will make available to affected sectors and provide an end point to burdensome restrictions.”

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